FictionForest

Chapter 6

L. Frank BaumOct 05, 2016'Command+D' Bookmark this page

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When Cap’n Bill and Trot and the Glass Cat had started for the
hidden island in the far-off river to get the Magic Flower, Dorothy
wondered again what she could give Ozma on her birthday. She met the
Patchwork Girl and said:

“What are you going to give Ozma for a birthday present?”

“I’ve written a song for her,” answered the strange Patchwork Girl,
who went by the name of “Scraps,” and who, through stuffed with
cotton, had a fair assortment of mixed brains. “It’s a splendid song
and the chorus runs this way:

I am crazy;
You’re a daisy,
Ozma dear;
I’m demented;
You’re contented,
Ozma dear;
I am patched and gay and glary;
You’re a sweet and lovely fairy;
May your birthdays all be happy,
Ozma dear!”

“How do you like it, Dorothy?” inquired the Patchwork Girl.

“Is it good poetry, Scraps?” asked Dorothy, doubtfully.

“It’s as good as any ordinary song,” was the reply. “I have given
it a dandy title, too. I shall call the song: ‘When Ozma Has a
Birthday, Everybody’s Sure to Be Gay, for She Cannot Help the Fact
That She Was Born.'”

“That’s a pretty long title, Scraps,” said Dorothy.

“That makes it stylish,” replied the Patchwork Girl, turning a
somersault and alighting on one stuffed foot. “Now-a-days the titles
are sometimes longer than the songs.”

Dorothy left her and walked slowly toward the place, where she met
the Tin Woodman just going up the front steps.

“What are you going to give Ozma on her birthday?” she asked.

“It’s a secret, but I’ll tell you,” replied the Tin Woodman, who was
Emperor of the Winkies. “I am having my people make Ozma a lovely
girdle set with beautiful tin nuggets. Each tin nugget will be
surrounded by a circle of emeralds, just to set it off to good advantage.
The clasp of the girdle will be pure tin! Won’t that be fine?”

“I’m sure she’ll like it,” said Dorothy. “Do you know what I can
give her?”

“I haven’t the slightest idea, Dorothy. It took me three months to
think of my own present for Ozma.”

The girl walked thoughtfully around to the back of the palace, and
presently came upon the famous Scarecrow of Oz, who has having two of
the palace servants stuff his legs with fresh straw.

“What are you going to give Ozma on her birthday?” asked Dorothy.

“I want to surprise her,” answered the Scarecrow.

“I won’t tell,” promised Dorothy.

“Well, I’m having some straw slippers made for her–all straw, mind
you, and braided very artistically. Ozma has always admired my straw
filling, so I’m sure she’ll be pleased with these lovely straw slippers.”

“Ozma will be pleased with anything her loving friends give her,”
said the girl. “What I’M worried about, Scarecrow, is what to give
Ozma that she hasn’t got already.”

“That’s what worried me, until I thought of the slippers,” said the
Scarecrow. “You’ll have to THINK, Dorothy; that’s the only way to get
a good idea. If I hadn’t such wonderful brains, I’d never have
thought of those straw foot-decorations.”

Dorothy left him and went to her room, where she sat down and tried
to think hard. A Pink Kitten was curled up on the window-sill and
Dorothy asked her:

“What can I give Ozma for her birthday present?”

“Oh, give her some milk,” replied the Pink Kitten; “that’s the
nicest thing I know of.”

A fuzzy little black dog had squatted down at Dorothy’s feet and now
looked up at her with intelligent eyes.

“Tell me, Toto,” said the girl; “what would Ozma like best for a
birthday present?”

The little black dog wagged his tail.

“Your love,” said he. “Ozma wants to be loved more than anything else.”

“But I already love her, Toto!”

“Then tell her you love her twice as much as you ever did before.”

“That wouldn’t be true,” objected Dorothy, “for I’ve always loved
her as much as I could, and, really, Toto, I want to give Ozma some
PRESENT, ’cause everyone else will give her a present.”

“Let me see,” said Toto. “How would it be to give her that useless
Pink Kitten?”

“No, Toto; that wouldn’t do.”

“Then six kisses.”

“No; that’s no present.”

“Well, I guess you’ll have to figure it out for yourself, Dorothy,”
said the little dog. “To MY notion you’re more particular than Ozma
will be.”

Dorothy decided that if anyone could help her it would be Glinda the
Good, the wonderful Sorceress of Oz who was Ozma’s faithful subject
and friend. But Glinda’s castle was in the Quadling Country and quite
a journey from the Emerald City.

So the little girl went to Ozma and asked permission to use the Wooden
Sawhorse and the royal Red Wagon to pay a visit to Glinda, and the girl
Ruler kissed Princess Dorothy and graciously granted permission.

The Wooden Sawhorse was one of the most remarkable creatures in Oz.
Its body was a small log and its legs were limbs of trees stuck in the
body. Its eyes were knots, its mouth was sawed in the end of the log
and its ears were two chips. A small branch had been left at the rear
end of the log to serve as a tail.

Ozma herself, during one of her early adventures, had brought this
wooden horse to life, and so she was much attached to the queer animal
and had shod the bottoms of its wooden legs with plates of gold so
they would not wear out. The Sawhorse was a swift and willing
traveler, and though it could talk if need arose, it seldom said
anything unless spoken to. When the Sawhorse was harnessed to the Red
Wagon there were no reins to guide him because all that was needed was
to tell him where to go.

Dorothy now told him to go to Glinda’s Castle and the Sawhorse
carried her there with marvelous speed.

“Glinda,” said Dorothy, when she had been greeted by the Sorceress,
who was tall and stately, with handsome and dignified features and
dressed in a splendid and becoming gown, “what are you going to give
Ozma for a birthday present?”

The Sorceress smiled and answered:

“Come into my patio and I will show you.”

So they entered a place that was surrounded by the wings of the
great castle but had no roof, and was filled with flowers and
fountains and exquisite statuary and many settees and chairs of
polished marble or filigree gold. Here there were gathered fifty
beautiful young girls, Glinda’s handmaids, who had been selected from
all parts of the Land of Oz on account of their wit and beauty and sweet
dispositions. It was a great honor to be made one of Glinda’s handmaidens.

When Dorothy followed the Sorceress into this delightful patio all
the fifty girls were busily weaving, and their shuttles were filled
with a sparkling green spun glass such as the little girl had never
seen before.

“What is it, Glinda?” she asked.

“One of my recent discoveries,” explained the Sorceress. “I have
found a way to make threads from emeralds, by softening the stones and
then spinning them into long, silken strands. With these emerald
threads we are weaving cloth to make Ozma a splendid court gown for
her birthday. You will notice that the threads have all the beautiful
glitter and luster of the emeralds from which they are made, and so
Ozma’s new dress will be the most magnificent the world has ever seen,
and quite fitting for our lovely Ruler of the Fairyland of Oz.”

Dorothy’s eyes were fairly dazed by the brilliance of the emerald
cloth, some of which the girls had already woven.

“I’ve never seen ANYthing so beautiful!” she said, with a sigh.
“But tell me, Glinda, what can I give our lovely Ozma on her birthday?”

The good Sorceress considered this question for a long time before
she replied. Finally she said:

“Of course there will be a grand feast at the Royal Palace on Ozma’s
birthday, and all our friends will be present. So I suggest that you
make a fine big birthday cake of Ozma, and surround it with candles.”

“Oh, just a CAKE!” exclaimed Dorothy, in disappointment.

“Nothing is nicer for a birthday,” said the Sorceress.

“How many candles should there be on the cake?” asked the girl.

“Just a row of them,” replied Glinda, “for no one knows how old Ozma
is, although she appears to us to be just a young girl–as fresh and
fair as if she had lived but a few years.”

“A cake doesn’t seem like much of a present,” Dorothy asserted.

“Make it a surprise cake,” suggested the Sorceress. “Don’t you
remember the four and twenty blackbirds that were baked in a pie?
Well, you need not use live blackbirds in your cake, but you could
have some surprise of a different sort.”

“Like what?” questioned Dorothy, eagerly.

“If I told you, it wouldn’t be YOUR present to Ozma, but MINE,”
answered the Sorceress, with a smile. “Think it over, my dear, and I
am sure you can originate a surprise that will add greatly to the joy
and merriment of Ozma’s birthday banquet.”

Dorothy thanked her friend and entered the Red Wagon and told the
Sawhorse to take her back home to the palace in the Emerald City.

On the way she thought the matter over seriously of making a
surprise birthday cake and finally decided what to do.

As soon as she reached home, she went to the Wizard of Oz, who had a
room fitted up in one of the high towers of the palace, where he
studied magic so as to be able to perform such wizardry as Ozma
commanded him to do for the welfare of her subjects.

The Wizard and Dorothy were firm friends and had enjoyed many
strange adventures together. He was a little man with a bald head and
sharp eyes and a round, jolly face, and because he was neither haughty
nor proud he had become a great favorite with the Oz people.

“Wizard,” said Dorothy, “I want you to help me fix up a present for
Ozma’s birthday.”

“I’ll be glad to do anything for you and for Ozma,” he answered.
“What’s on your mind, Dorothy?”

“I’m going to make a great cake, with frosting and candles, and all
that, you know.”

“Very good,” said the Wizard.

“In the center of this cake I’m going to leave a hollow place, with
just a roof of the frosting over it,” continued the girl.

“Very good,” repeated the Wizard, nodding his bald head.

“In that hollow place,” said Dorothy, “I want to hide a lot of
monkeys about three inches high, and after the cake is placed on the
banquet table, I want the monkeys to break through the frosting and
dance around on the table-cloth. Then, I want each monkey to cut out
a piece of cake and hand it to a guest.”

“Mercy me!” cried the little Wizard, as he chuckled with laughter.
“Is that ALL you want, Dorothy?”

“Almost,” said she. “Can you think of anything more the little
monkeys can do, Wizard?”

“Not just now,” he replied. “But where will you get such tiny monkeys?”

“That’s where you’re to help me,” said Dorothy. “In some of those
wild forests in the Gillikin Country are lots of monkeys.”

“Big ones,” said the Wizard.

“Well, you and I will go there, and we’ll get some of the big
monkeys, and you will make them small–just three inches high–by
means of your magic, and we’ll put the little monkeys all in a basket
and bring them home with us. Then you’ll train them to dance–up here
in your room, where no one can see them–and on Ozma’s birthday we’ll
put ’em into the cake and they’ll know by that time just what to do.”

The Wizard looked at Dorothy with admiring approval, and chuckled again.

“That’s really clever, my dear,” he said, “and I see no reason why
we can’t do it, just the way you say, if only we can get the wild
monkeys to agree to it.”

“Do you think they’ll object?” asked the girl.

“Yes; but perhaps we can argue them into it. Anyhow it’s worth
trying, and I’ll help you if you’ll agree to let this Surprise Cake be
a present to Ozma from you and me together. I’ve been wondering what
I could give Ozma, and as I’ve got to train the monkeys as well as
make them small, I think you ought to make me your partner.”

“Of course,” said Dorothy; “I’ll be glad to do so.”

“Then it’s a bargain,” declared the Wizard. “We must go to seek
those monkeys at once, however, for it will take time to train them and
we’ll have to travel a good way to the Gillikin forests where they live.”

“I’m ready to go any time,” agreed Dorothy. “Shall we ask Ozma to
let us take the Sawhorse?”

The Wizard did not answer that at once. He took time to think of
the suggestion.

“No,” he answered at length, “the Red Wagon couldn’t get through the
thick forests and there’s some danger to us in going into the wild
places to search for monkeys. So I propose we take the Cowardly Lion
and the Hungry Tiger. We can ride on their backs as well as in the
Red Wagon, and if there is danger to us from other beasts, these two
friendly champions will protect us from all harm.”

“That’s a splendid idea!” exclaimed Dorothy. “Let’s go now and ask
the Hungry Tiger and the Cowardly Lion if they will help us. Shall we
ask Ozma if we can go?”

“I think not,” said the Wizard, getting his hat and his black bag of
magic tools. “This is to be a surprise for her birthday, and so she
mustn’t know where we’re going. We’ll just leave word, in case Ozma
inquires for us, that we’ll be back in a few days.”

 

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